Making the Difference Awards 2019 – Winners Announced


Vertas Awards

View the photos from 2019 here >>

Check out 2019’s winners and finalists below

Employee of the Year

Employee of the Year

Congratulations to our winner: Victoria Sear – Head of Kitchen, Newmarket Academy

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Michelle Cullum – Cleaning Supervisor, Hadleigh Health Centre
  • Sarah Elliot – Site Manager, High Lodge, Thetford


Employee of the Year was sponsored by:

Imtech logo

Imtech is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland, with extensive expertise and experience in engineering services, technical facilities management and systems integration.

Our people are our primary asset in delivering service excellence – this award is designed to recognise the significant contribution that an individual has made to Vertas, its clients and customers.


Our Employee of the Year has…

  • Demonstrated a positive ‘can do’ attitude to their work stream
  • Consistently exceeded customer expectations
  • Delivered significant measurable benefits to Vertas
  • Been recognised by customer, client, colleague or line manager as a forward-thinking positive individual
  • Achieved all of their appraisal performance measures
  • An excellent attendance record


Team of the Year

Team of the Year

Congratulations to our winners: Passenger Transport Team, Ixworth

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Acle St Edmund CofE Primary School Catering
  • Tina Sharpe and the West Suffolk Mobile Cleaning Team

Team of the Year was sponsored by:


We are looking for teams that have demonstrably gone the extra mile to improve the way they work, for example; to increase client satisfaction or deliver improve service standards.


Our Team of the Year has…

  • Demonstrated that working as a team works better than an individual
  • Delivered significant measurable benefits to the business, including financial and HSQE
  • Consistently and measurably exceeds customer expectations
  • Sick absence below the company target
  • Demonstrated outstanding business improvement.

Colleagues Champion

Colleagues Champion

Congratulations to our winner: Emily Strickland, HSQE, Compliance and Governance Support Co-ordinator

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Ashley Copping – Senior Management Accountant, Finance
  • Sam Painter – Senior HR Advisor, Schools’ Choice


Colleagues Champion was sponsored by

Accent Fresh

This award recognises a Vertas employee who has consistently supported work colleagues and is always there to help others.


Our Colleagues Champion…

  • Actively supports other team members
  • Is recognised by colleagues as a dedicated individual who is willing to offer support, give advice and be flexible in their approach to the business and its employees
  • Is an enthusiastic person with a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Is a mentor to others
  • Shares knowledge and expertise with team members

Lifetime Achievement

Lifetime Achievement

Congratulations to our winner: Nina Whale, Category Manager

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Kay Smith – Relief Head of Kitchen, West Suffolk
  • Ron Milton – Custodian, Endeavour House

Lifetime Achievement was sponsored by


This accolade is to recognise a member of our team who has consistently strived to develop their service area, their team and add value to the organisation in its many guises.


An individual who has…

  • Made a contribution to the wider FM and support services industry – through memberships and affiliations
  • Stood out for their dedication to the business
  • Demonstrated commitment to making Vertas a successful company
  • Been seen as an advocate for Vertas and has knowledge of all services
  • Been a mentor and example to others
  • Committed to Vertas and its predecessors.



Congratulations to our winner: Kelly Stiff – Regional Property Services Administrator

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Mark Dale – Contract Manager, Energy Management
  • Mark Horner – Head of Vertas Environmental

Innovation was sponsored by


Without innovation we will never move forward. Recognising the vital importance that innovative ideas and creativity play in Vertas, the innovations can be product or service based.


An individual or team that has…

  • Introduced a new concept, product, service or process that has benefited Vertas
  • Been fully committed to continuous business improvement
  • Demonstrated measurable benefit from the introduction of the innovation
  • Implemented their innovative idea / way of working
  • Demonstrated agility in their approach to their service stream.

Inspiring LeadersCongratulations to our winner: Adrian Glasgow – Head of Energy Management

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Claire Bickers – Senior Schools HR Advisor, Schools’ Choice
  • Kim Murray – Area Catering Manager

Inspiring Leaders was sponsored by


This award recognises our Inspiring leaders who develop and motivate their teams to deliver service excellence, in their chosen specialty.


A leader who…

  • Nominees should demonstrate excellent leadership skills, impact and commitment to the success of others
  • Evidence of employee succession planning
  • Appraisals follow on – plotted individuals learning and development needs
  • lives the Vertas values and is always fair and consistent in their dealings with colleagues
  • Actively develops individuals to achieve their full potential
  • Is seen as a mentor by colleagues

Going the Extra Mile

Congratulations to our winner: Adam Brough – Contract Manager, Churchill Catering

Well done to our finalists:

  • Joe Alexander – Business Support Officer, Endeavour House
  • Sam Batt – Property Advisor, West Suffolk

Going the Extra Mile was sponsored by

Paramount Security Solutions

This award recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond in the course of their work to provide service excellence or support to colleagues.

An individual who has…

  • Consistently exhibited a willingness to help and support
  • Demonstrated commitment to Vertas by going above and beyond the call of duty
  • Worked outside of their normal work stream to support the business
  • Added value by improving cross-functional relationships
  • Consistently supported colleagues and line managers.

Specialist of the Year

Congratuations to our winner: Duncan Whent – Risk and Quality Advisor, HSQE Compliance and Governance

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Gary Cant – Service Manager, IEM
  • Peter Lockwood – Payroll Manager

Specialist of the Year was sponsored by


This award seeks to reward and recognise our service specialists who innovate and develop their area of expertise for the benefit of Vertas, its clients and customers.


An individual who has…

  • Demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in their chosen service discipline
  • Undertaken training (either inside or outside the organisation) to develop their knowledge
  • Introduced a measurable change to the way the service is delivered to improve efficiency or deliver improved client satisfaction
  • Introduced innovation and new ideas into their chosen discipline
  • Embraced and adapted to the business re-engineering from SCC to Vertas
  • Shown a continuous positive attitude to change

SustainabilityCongratulations to our winner: Val Fenn – Head of Kitchen, Hardwick Primary School

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Barry Taylor and Lauren Irvine – Property Advisors
  • Lee Johns – Campus Manager, Endeavour House

Sustainability was sponsored by

Paddy and Scotts

Sustainability is one of the Vertas Group’s core values because not only is it the right thing to do for our planet and our environment, it can have business efficiency benefits too. This award recognises where ‘sustainability’ has been put at the heart of our Vertas way of working.


An individual or team who has…

  • Demonstrated that working smarter can offer sustainable solutions
  • Lived out the Vertas ‘Sustainability’ value
  • Worked actively with the local community to engage and support
  • Implemented a new way of working; delivering environmental benefits
  • Been an advocate in the promotion of sustainable working practices

Customer 1st

Congratulations to our winner: Cambridgeshire Police HQ Catering Team – Churchill Catering

Huge well done to our finalists:

  • Danny Markham – Risk and Quality Co-ordinator, HSQE Compliance and Governance
  • Luke Skippings – Property Advisor

Customer 1st was sponsored by


Customers are our live blood. This award recognises a member of our Vertas team that has provided exceptional customer and / or client service over a sustained period of time and who has demonstrated a ‘customer first’ culture.


An individual or team that…

  • Creates a service vision to reflect the customer’s needs
  • Delivers what they say they will do on a consistent basis
  • Demonstrably puts the customer’s needs ahead of their own
  • Knows the market and competitors and pre-empts change
  • Constantly reviews service offered and puts measurement in place

Thank you to all our sponsors for their support for our Making the Difference awards. Without you, this event would not be possible.

Sponsor logosIf you would like to find out more about sponsoring our awards, contact us today.

“My congratulations go to Vicky and all the 2019 winners and finalists. I’m delighted with the record number of nominations this year, demonstrating how staff across the Group have embraced the awards, now in their fourth year.

Vicky reached the regional finals of the LACA School Chef of the Year competition last year and it gives me great pride to see the expertise and passion we have across the business.”

Ian Surtees, MBA, CEO of Vertas Group Limited